Richard’s car, serendipitous pub names, and a new review
This morning I chose That Crackling Silence. I chose Richard’s car c. 1960s. I chose the way Marissa smells, with and without cologne. And then I had to choose a pub.
Choosing a pub near Oxford University in the 1960s shouldn’t be hard work, but I was having trouble finding photos of interiors. I don’t know why this matters to me, but it does. I stumbled across a website that reviewed pubs in the area, and had finally settled on the King’s Arms, when I read this reviewer’s off-hand remark:
The King’s arms or KA is located at the corner of Holywell Street and Parks road. It’s not my favourite Young’s pub in Oxford (I prefer the Angel and Greyhound) and really isn’t somewhere I’d go for a quiet drink with a friend.
If you’ve read This Brilliant Darkness, you know of course that gave me pause. The Angel & the Greyhound? What are the chances?
I’ve always thought God has a terrific sense of humor, revealing jokes like this time and time again to me when I needed to hear them the most. First via people’s names, now via pub names. That was what happened when I was writing This Brilliant Darkness, and I’m startled and comforted to be reminded of that process as I begin to throw myself in earnest into that story’s end.
Call it God or the Universe or Creativity, whatever you want. I like feeling like it’s with me.
So, the Angel and the Greyhound it is. Small detail. Makes little difference to the story, except to say this is a REAL place in a fictional world, where make believe manifests what I can only hope is something heartfelt & real in the reader.
Sure, I want to change the world. No, I don’t know if I believe that’s possible. Maybe that’s what this is all about—making the right choices whether you believe it makes a difference or not. Hrm.
Whether or not they comment, I’m not accustomed to knowing people are actually reading this blog, and I’m not sure how much is too much to talk about That Crackling Silence. I don’t want to give anything away.
I know there are more of you reading now than there were before, thanks to Troll Or Derby. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here.
I do want to start working on the cover of That Crackling Silence soon. I think it’s about time, and I’m almost ready.
Lastly, I wanted to encourage you to head over to writer M.B. Adams’ blog (aka Cthulhu Lemon) for a review of Troll Or Derby by a fellow writer/rollergirl. I like it when smart people read my books. I put a lot of time and thought into them, so it’s wonderful to hear thoughtful feedback.
Don’t get me wrong, the straight 5 star reviews of “I love it! More!” are just as appreciated! By all means, keep those coming.
What the Higgs boson means to me, by Red Tash
The day that the Higgs boson discovery was announced, a few readers contacted me in delight.
If you’ve read This Brilliant Darkness, then perhaps you know why.
Peter Higgs has much in common with “Don’t call me ‘Sir’” Richard Welletter. Higgs could have been a young TA when Welletter was in college, side-by-side with best friend Bill Shackler and the future Marissa Welletter. Higgs could have had coffee with the bright, but sensitive Welletter. He could have graded his papers unfairly. Who knows?
Either way, at the time of This Brilliant Darkness’ story, Welletter is in Bloomington, trying to study a star that is winking in and out of existence, like one huge Higgs boson in the sky.
Scientists in our reality are looking to complete the Standard Model of the universe. (I hope it’s not meant to be built to scale.) That’s what Richard was up to, in Bloomington. Before he could finish his research, something dreadful happened to a friend of his. Something directly tied to that star, to that huge ball of particle physics in the sky.
This morning, I wrote the first chapter of That Crackling Silence in the post-Higgs boson era.
Does it change the story? Not really.
This was one of those science things where to know the theory meant you certainly understood it would one day be proven. (Sorry, Professor Hawking, I don’t know why you bet against this one!) No, the bigger mystery in all of this science is, unfortunately, what does it mean? If something can be here now, and then not, and then here again, how does that mechanism work, exactly? We’re going to learn that, as well, and what will that mean for us, as beings?
That’s always been one of the underlying precepts for the story This Brilliant Darkness, and as I write toward the climax of That Crackling Silence, my plans for Richard haven’t changed one bit. He’s still headed toward the same destiny as before.
I just got to throw in a nifty phone conversation between him and Stephen Hawking, is all. Something about losing a bet.
You’d think Richard would be satisfied with his triumph, but as it turns out, he has been too busy grieving to publish his findings. Fortunately, between his friendship with Tom and Junie, and the love of his darling daughter Gretchen Grace (aka GG), he’s on the mend now, in South Carolina. (I’m sure son Badger will make an appearance before the book is over, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten a soul.)
It’s just funny, though. I was several chapters into Christine’s storyline when this news came out. I didn’t feel immediately compelled to write about the Higgs boson. Then, this morning I woke up about 5-something, hopped out of bed, and met Richard’s request as fast as I could. He had something to do, something to say.
Am I back *into* the world of This Brilliant Darkness? Oh, yes. Oh, yes, indeed.
All I want for Christmas is for this book to knock you out. To be better than the first, to leave you satisfied. Cross your fingers for me. That’s such a tall order and no one will be more disappointed than yours truly if I don’t live up to the challenge.
Well, maybe Richard Welletter will be. He may be the only character I’ve written who’d really understand what it’s like to take on such a story and feel such a deep need to tell it correctly. The difference is, his stories are factual bits of scientific discovery. Mine are about made-up bird-bat-men and the like, aren’t they?
Now, off to cruise the interwebs for a bit. I’ve got Day 3 of the blog tour to investigate! I will leave you to this lovely photo of the Large Hadron Collider: